Allison Kugel of PR.com recently conducted an interview with KISS bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons. A few excerpts from the chat follow:PR.com: Since you seem to be the ultimate entrepreneur, when you started KISS, when you co-founded KISS I should say, was it simply a means to an end for you? Gene Simmons: It always is and always will be, because rock n' roll is home to people who would otherwise be asking the next person if they'd like some fries with that. PR.com: Well, that's if you're successful at it… Gene Simmons: What I meant was that if it wasn't for rock n' roll you'd be at McDonalds because the people who inhabit the world of popular music can't do anything. They have no skills, and we fall into this kind of business that reacts to charisma. We're not the best singers, and we're not the best dancers. Very few people… I mean, Prince is an exception, but … nobody can read or write music. We're all just self-taught and we do what we do, and that's sort of it. PR.com: Did you have a passion for music? Gene Simmons: No. I just wanted to get rich and famous… in that order. PR.com: That's another thing that I was going to ask you… if you had a choice between rich or famous, which one do you think you would choose? Gene Simmons: Rich every time! You can be famous and be poor. But if you're rich, who cares. And if money can't buy you happiness… well if you're going to be a miserable son of a bitch, it's still better to be a rich miserable son of a bitch. PR.com: Well, someone I interviewed said to me recently, "I don't understand why people always say "money can't buy you happiness." Money was never meant to buy you happiness. It was meant to make you comfortable." Gene Simmons: None of that is correct because if you're a mother and you have a child, your child needs things. And love is not the first thing it needs. The first thing it needs is food and shelter. If it has a cough or is sick, you take it to the doctor. Actually, money is the expression of love, whether it's presents or buying your girlfriend clothing or jewelry, you express your love with money. PR.com: Do you believe women are designed to be married? Gene Simmons: Yes, you're biologically designed that way. You nest. You lay your eggs… I mean talking bird language… you lay your eggs and you build your nest. You want the white picked fence. Neither is good or bad. It's just what you're designed for. During the month, during a thirty day period, you drop one or two eggs. That's it! Every day we make hundreds of millions of sperm in the same time it takes you to make two eggs. We're tens of billions of sperm. Either that's a great cosmic joke by God, or it has something to do with the blueprint of what we do. PR.com: Then what has kept you in your relationship (with model Shannon Tweed) for over twenty years? Gene Simmons: My decisions, my rules. No marriage. That's no one to ask me "Where you are going?" Because I would immediately respond by, "Who wants to know?" PR.com: Do you believe in fidelity? Gene Simmons: I believe in nobody else having anything to say about your lifestyle. If you want to be [faithful] that should be a personal decision, not up to your girlfriend or your boyfriend. That's the problem with marriage. Somebody else has a right to say how you lead your life. Not even your mother has that right, and she gave you life itself. Why would you ever give anybody else that right? PR.com: What do you explain to your daughter about what you want for her? Gene Simmons: Simple idea, don't define yourself by men, which is what all women do. Every woman's magazine is, "Ten ways to keep him interested," or "Ten things he's thinking about." There isn't a men's magazine that has anything to do with trying to figure out what women are thinking about, because we actually don't care what you're thinking about. We are too busy thinking our own thoughts. You spend all that time because you are desperate, because you have one or two eggs a month, and by the time you're in your middle years you go nuts. "Gotta get a man, gotta get a man, gotta get a man!" So the idea for Sophie is not to define herself by a man. Forget what he wants. What do you want? PR.com: Do you want to see her get married? Gene Simmons: Only if she wants to. Marriage means nothing to me. Happiness means everything. All I see in marriage is a lot of desperately unhappy people. That's why there are marriage jokes. By the way, there are no "single" jokes. Try one. I don't know of any. "Why do men die younger than their wives? Because they want to." Then everybody laughs. Here is a "single" joke: "I got up and I did whatever I wanted to do, whenever I wanted to do it, at any time, and without checking with anyone." PR.com: But the rest of that sentence would be, "…but I'm lonely." Gene Simmons: Well you're not because being single means you can keep swinging your bat until you hit one. PR.com: At least your argument is well thought out. Gene Simmons: I think it is called man. PR.com: Does Shannon agree with all of your philosophies? Gene Simmons: Absolutely not. PR.com: Do you ever argue about it? Gene Simmons: Never. No one has the right to argue with me. I can open the discussion but nobody can sit there and… there's no passing judgment. You accept the idea that you know people think in a certain way, because it's biology. PR.com: I am interested in your thoughts on the war in Iraq. Gene Simmons: Well, I think everybody in America is on crack, and believes that you can go on your summer vacation, you fight a war and you come back. This war will continue for generations, and it has nothing to do with tanks and guns. It has to do with winning the minds and hearts of young Muslim people so that they don't choose 9/11 kind of behavior. It's the dark ages, this idea that you can go there for a few years and come home. We have been in Korea for decades and we should continue to be there until a new generation comes in and just finally gives up. You've got to fight the war like The Cold War; be there as long as it takes, and finally Russia lays down its arms. PR.com: Do you think this all goes back to the United Nations giving the Jewish people the state of Israel? Gene Simmons: Well, let's not go there. It's too political. The problem is not Israel or anything else. People hate each other and have for centuries. Actually, ever since we started walking the earth. One cave did not like the other cave. They were taller or shorter or fatter or darker or lighter. Human beings can barely get along. PR.com: Why do you think? Gene Simmons: I think it's survival and competition, whether its sports or jousting knights in shining armor, or beauty pageants for women… or you look at animals. You see rams ramming each other, and there is always the pecking order. Who is going to be top dog? PR.com: What do you think about celebrities speaking out about their opinions on the war? Gene Simmons: Pathetic and they're not qualified to talk about it. I think everybody means well, but whether you are far left or far right, Al-Qaeda does not care what you are or what your beliefs are. They don't care if you want to withdraw and go home. They want you to die. There is no difference [to] an extremist Muslim. They're not interested if you are for the war or against the war. You're just all Americans to them. Read the entire interview at www.pr.com.
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